The Divide

Here’s an excerpt from our neighborhood listserv —

Please join the Doula Collective this [date redacted] for our monthly Meet the Doulas event at [Local Yoga Studio].

This is a free, interactive way to meet the members of the collective, ask us questions and learn more about how doula support during birth and the postpartum period may be of value to your new or expanding family. Additionally, each month we feature a guest speaker from a local resource in our community.

This month [name redacted] – local prenatal yoga teacher and Doula – will guide mamas and their partners in a mini-workshop of prenatal partner yoga poses. She’ll talk about the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, and how yoga, breath work and partner yoga poses can be helpful during labor. Bring your partner, a friend or come solo and you can partner up with another solo mama or one of the doulas. 

Both mama and partner should wear clothes comfortable for movement.

After the workshop, we’ll have a chance for you to meet, ask questions and get to know the Doulas!

To RSVP or to ask questions, click: [this link].

If someone could please forward this on to other neighborhood listservs that would be very kind and much appreciated! Likewise, please feel free to pass this message along to other parenting groups or expecting friends or relatives in our area!!

Although I appreciate the novelty of a news item involves NEITHER a burglary NOR a runaway pitbull…why does it have to be doulas?

As the proud daughter of a nurse*, one who kicks it old school**, my immediate response is, Oh for f*ck’s sake. Because, DOULAS. C’mon, now. That’s like asking that really nice, but not super-bright girl who lived down the hall from you in college to deliver your child: “Oh my god, sweetie, I’m so sorry about your contractions! Do you want some chamomile tea? Or, like, I’ve got some Midol? Anyway, me and Allie were going to watch Dirty Dancing on my laptop — but we can totally see something else? I’ve got The Princess Bride, Zoolander, and Sleepless in Seattle. You can sit on the beanbag, too, it’s really comfortable — and don’t worry about getting blood and offal on it.”

Seriously, get a medical professional — and I don’t mean a midwife, unless he or she has at LEAST a nursing degree. Western Medicine is an amazing thing, and I don’t just say that because it has saved my @$$ more times than I can count***. It’s an amazing thing because it keeps people from dying from totally fixable or preventable carp, from septic paper cuts to polio to pertussis. Do you really want to be that person who, in 2013, dies of diptheria? No. No, you don’t. Because that would make you an idiot. Correction: that would make you a dead idiot and they are of no use to anybody.

(What can I say? I value competence over compassion. If I’m in need of care, it doesn’t especially matter if the providers are nice to me. I just want them to make it better, because that’s their job. When I had my appendix removed, I wasn’t like “Excuse me, but I feel like we need to have a dialogue about my upcoming procedure, because — thanks to my liberal arts education — even minimally invasive surgery could be construed as a violation of my body and personhood?” I said, “OWWWWW! Please do a surgery because my appendix is about to explode all over the inside of my abdominal cavity!” Ok, technically, only the first part was coherent, because I was in serious pain (on the Wong-Baker scale, I was the BIG, SOBBING FROWNY FACE), but that was the gist of it.)

But it does lend weight to my suspicion that there’s a distinct parenting divide — one based primarily on class, and to a lesser extent, on race and/or ethnicity. I don’t have children of my own, so I can’t confirm this, but I’ve observed a fair amount of parenting on both sides.

My nephew is one extreme, whose rearing could fill an entire book and won’t be addressed here. Here, I believe, is the other:

While I’m walking to work in the morning, I often pass by parents waiting with their kids for the school bus and overhear snippets of their conversations. These do not tend to revolve around co-sleeping, positive discipline, or heated debates about how many years/decades of breastfeeding is ideal.

Indeed, one such mother had recently found herself in the awkward situation of housing not one, but two babydaddies under her roof — to which her friend replied, sympathetically but with a hint of tough love, “Damn, girl!…because, really, what else is there to say? I gather that the situation has since resolved itself. Nevertheless, it sort of proves my point.

Then again, there’s my other favorite overheard conversational snippet — one which took place while I was waiting for the bus and comes from a woman I don’t personally know, talking on her phone to a friend: “And I said, ‘y’all FATass bitches, because they say ‘Oh I can’t work out or nothing, I got kids.’ Uh-huh. Well, I got three-a them motherf*ckers, and I lost my baby weight.”

Which proves, if nothing else, that parental smugness is universal.

* Now Assistant Professor of Nursing at [name of institution withheld, for privacy reasons. Hey, she’s my mom! Don’t be stalking her!].
**She’s Jefferson-trained, with an additional BSN and an MSN from Penn — and working towards a doctorate. And as if working in the field since she was a 12-year-old Candy Striper, sponge-bathing geriatrics during her summer vacations, wasn’t enough — did I mention that she’s got school nurse certification in like 3 states? Or that she’s served as the equivalent of a drill sergeant for multiple classes of what one might charitably call the F-Troop of LPNs-in-training, under the auspices of JobCorps? Or that one of her all-time favorite jobs was at a juvenile detention center because, in her words, she really liked the kids there? And that she did all this AND raised 5 children? That’s seriously bad@$$, in anybody’s book.
***And I’m not even counting all of my ancestors who were saved by concepts such as germ theory or antibiotics such as penicillin.
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